A Junior librarian

Hi, y’all! I’m back from vacation, and a huge thanks to Colin @ Libraries at the Movies, Beth @ Beautiful Libraries, Tom Goodfellow, and Bob @ Cinfolit for their guest posts! Along with you, dear reader, I really enjoyed reading a fresh perspective on related library and librarian topics.

And I hope everyone had a great (and relaxed) Labor Day. And speaking of labor…  let’s ease back into things with the (s)light comedy Junior (1994).

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Dr. Alex Hesse, a research scientist who becomes the test subject for his latest fertility drug. And if the poster (see left) isn’t obvious enough, he becomes the world’s first pregnant man! Years ahead of its time, this movie. ;)

I had remembered seeing this film in theaters back when it was released, and since it was available for free through our On Demand service, I convinced my husband to watch it one night. And lo and behold, a library scene greeted us over the opening credits!

The camera begins panning over rows of library shelves, where we spy a librarian walking past in a flash. How do we know this is a librarian? Because she’s pushing a cart of books, of course! (See my post on library duties and qualifications here.) Although only a two-second cameo for the librarian, the library scene continues.

In the next row of library books, the camera zooms in on Dr. Alex (Schwarzenegger), who suddenly hears a baby crying. He comes out of the stacks — out of the Physiology reference section, just to be thorough — and goes up to the central Circulation desk, where a baby just happens to be hanging out on the counter. Neither the baby nor Dr. Alex seem happy about this situation.

Dr. Alex’s reaction? Panic.

Hello? There’s a baby here. There’s got to be a mother. Hello? There’s a baby. Help! Hello? Anybody here?

He picks up the baby, who tinkles all over the library carpet, and carries him (?) through the library, most likely on the lookout for the librarian who had passed by 30 seconds earlier. Then as his panic escalates, along with the number of babies, we see Dr. Alex wake up in bed.

Whew, just a dream. Or rather, a nightmare. He’s safe. Especially with that thick book to protect his chest. ;)

This opening scene, a clever way to set the tone and central conflict of this movie, features an interesting contrast. It is both the presence of the baby and the absence of the librarian that add to this nightmare. No librarian = loss of order and control. In other words, CHAOS.

The librarian in this Class IV film serves as an Information Provider, reinforcing the library setting. And while the librarian gets no listing in the credits, the library baby (played by twins) does.

Here’s the film’s original theatrical trailer:

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4 comments on “A Junior librarian

  1. Coln Higgins says:

    Welcome back Jennifer! Junior remains the only Schwarzenegger film I’ve never seen, and an opening scene in a library is unlikely to change my mind about how dreadful the film looks. But one day I want to write a film in which he plays the Librarian of Congress, who has to battle a group of terrorists using only the staff resources the library has to offer. Think about all the fun that could be had with the different librarian types in your role call!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Colin! Wow, you have seen a lot of Schwarzenegger films… and that Librarian of Congress movie idea sounds AWESOME. Like National Treasure mixed together with The Day After Tomorrow, but you know, good. ;)

  2. “It is both the presence of the baby and the absence of the librarian that add to this nightmare. No librarian = loss of order and control. In other words, CHAOS.”

    Brilliant! I love how you can take a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of a librarian and make such a profound observation out of it!

    And yes, Coln, the movie is awful — I still can’t believe I sat through the whole thing — but your idea for a Librarian of Congress movie sounds awesome!

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